Saturday, May 19, 2007

Collectibles and stamps go crazy

Reporter Sharon Reier of the International Herald Tribune writes, "Charles Shreve is a stamp specialist whose Shreves Philatelic Galleries in Dallas will handle the June auction of a major British stamp collection by Bill Gross, chief investment officer of Pacific Investment Management Co., to benefit Médecins sans Frontières. Shreve sees the current collectors' mentality as a positive development."

Shreve (shown above) is quoted as saying, "The last time collectibles and stamps were starting to go crazy, the dynamics were completely different. Back then, inflation was rampant and people were enticed to go into anything besides cash as an investment. When that happens, prices are vulnerable because people are driven only by investment potential."

According to the article,"... prices for stamps and coins slumped through the mid-1980s after the U.S. Congress prohibited holding stamps and rare coins as investments in tax-free retirement accounts."

"We saw the first decline in a generation," Shreve said.

He went to say " the market is totally driven by collectors with an insatiable desire to own the best. I am amazed at how much money they are willing to pay for the best. It has been that way for the last half dozen years."

The newspaper reports, "The 200-stamp Gross collection features the largest privately held block of uncanceled penny black stamps, the first adhesive-backed stamps ever issued, conservatively estimated to be worth $400,000 to $500,000. The entire collection may raise more than $4 million."

To read the entire article, click here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM